Are hidden cameras a solution for nursing home abuse?

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo will be
increasing the use of hidden cameras in nursing homes throughout western New
York. Many facilities in the New York area have already been using hidden
cameras, which has lead to 26 convictions of nurses, nursing aides and a
nursing home owner. Hidden cameras are being used both to provide evidence of
negligence and to deter nursing home employees from committing elder abuse.

As reported in the Buffalo News, “the initiative involves
placing a hidden video camera in resident rooms, with the permission of
families or legal representatives but without the knowledge of the nursing
home. The video can be monitored in real time to stop abuse if it is occurring
and used as evidence to make a case at trial.”

Cuomo stated, "I want nursing home operators to know we are using technology as a deterrent. Homes should assume there is a camera in the room." Only time will tell if hidden cameras in nursing homes will prevent elder abuse, but in the mean time, cameras will be able to catch nursing home employees in the act of negligent behavior toward their patients. Other states are looking into legislation allowing cameras in nursing homes with New Mexico, Texas and New York allowing cameras already.